Two men in Luton who raped an 11-year-old girl have been sentenced to just 40 months despite guidelines recommending a sentence between 8 - 13 years for those convicted of raping a child. The reason for this lenient sentence was the judge's assertion that the girl looked older than her age. He also claimed that she was a "willing" participant in her own rape.
Roshane Channer and Ruben Monteiro attacked the girl and even filmed the ordeal. In this situation, a young girl being approached by two adult men is very likely to face emotional manipulation, intimidation and to be coerced. Even if a minor wishes to be or is sexually active, that does not excuse an adult's abuse or exploitation. A child, no matter how knowledgeable they believe themselves to be in such matters, will not have the emotional maturity, confidence or judgement to fully consent.
Judge David Farrell QC excused the rapists by focusing and proportioning blame onto the child. Victim-blaming in rape cases is sadly pervasive in our culture so it is therefore important that those with judicial power understand the severity of rape, especially when the victim is a minor. No matter what age she looked, no matter how "willing" she appeared, she was still a child in a vulnerable position. The law that was supposed to protect her has failed her. Please sign and show your support.
"Despite her age it is accepted that she was a willing participant, but the law is there to protect young girls from this type of behaviour and [...] from themselves." - Judge David Farrell, suggesting a child can simultaneously be a rape victim and a willing participant.
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